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Posts Tagged ‘#ShannaHatfield’

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This week’s assignment is to list things I’m good at.

Which is hard.

Because no matter what I write down, it makes me feel like I’m bragging, and that’s just not cool. I think it’s human nature to be able to rattle off our weaknesses with much greater ease than list our strengths. But we are all good at something.  So here, in no particular order, is my list of things I think I’m good at:

  1. Writing
  2. Listening to others
  3. Being supportive to others
  4. Staying positive
  5. Party planning
  6. Cooking
  7. Baking
  8. Home decorating
  9. Crafts that involve hot glue guns
  10. Thinking creatively
  11. Problem solving
  12. Packing
  13. Graphic design
  14. Organization
  15. Being detail-oriented
  16. Self-Motivation
  17. Dreaming
  18. Being kind to others
  19. Meeting deadlines
  20. Loving Captain Cavedweller

    What tops the list of things you are good at?

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Composite of Clock and Calendar

This week’s happiness list is about sharing the routines in your personal life and work.

Mine tend to intersect since I work from home, but here’s a list of my typical routines.

  • Get up and exercise. If I make it a point to exercise first thing in the morning, it makes me feel more energized and I can cross something off my to-do list that I don’t enjoy doing. Honestly, I’m not an exercise fan, but I know it is necessary. And I am a fan of how much better exercising makes me feel.
  • Shower and get dressed for the day. Since I left my “day job” and began working from home to write full-time, I can’t tell you the times I’ve had someone ask me if I sit around in my pajamas all day. No. No I do not. Would you wear pajamas to work? Would you sit in a board room with your boss and peers with your hair uncombed and fuzzy slippers on your feet? I’m guessing you probably would not. I treat my writing as not just my job, but my career. So I get up, dress up, and show up for work every day. It makes me feel better to be dressed and ready for whatever the day brings. I’ve never been one to lounge around in my pjs. Ever.
  • Breakfast and Bible study. Before I eat breakfast, I like to sit down and do a little Bible study. It helps me find direction, gives me peace, and lightens my heart. Those few moments help me feel prepared for the day ahead.
  • Social Media. I generally spend about an hour or so each morning on social media, sharing posts, responding to comments, answering messages, etc.
  • Work time. Once I get the social media taken care of for the day, it’s writing time (or editing time or cover designing time). I generally work until noon-ish, take a half hour break, then work again until it’s time to start dinner.
  • The dinner hour. One of the highlights of my day is spending an hour with Captain Cavedweller as we eat dinner and chat about the day, share any funny things that happened, and just hang out with each other.
  • Evening work. After the dishes are stowed in the dishwasher and leftovers set in the fridge, I head back into my office for a few more hours of writing before bedtime.
  • Reading. Years ago, a life coach told me the best way to unwind at the end of the day is to spend 30 minutes doing something I love. So I do. I try to spend 30 minutes right before I fall asleep reading. I absolutely love to read and this is the perfect way to end my day.

The instructions say to circle the routines that bring joy. I’d have to circle just about all of these! Even though I hate exercising, I get pleasure from the sense of accomplishment of having done it (and then there is that whole feeling better and stronger thing, too!).

What does your daily routine look like? What brings you joy from those routines?

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Each year, I choose a word that serves as my theme for the year. Although I’ve chosen this word in the past, it was the word I just kept coming back to.

blessed

So for me, in 2018 I choose the word Blessed. My goal is to focus with purpose and intention each day on my blessings. To look for them in everything and be grateful for each one.

From experience, I know when I’m feeling blessed, I’m also more joyful and happier, not to mention thankful. It’s funny how those things are all tied so closely together: joy, happiness, gratitude, and peace.

When I came across a book in an airport gift shop, I knew it would be perfect for helping me stay focused on my blessings this year, because it also drives me to be focused on happiness.

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Each week, I plan to share one of the 52 lists for happiness. If you want to join in my efforts, you can find the book available on Amazon.

The very first list is to share what makes you happy right now.

Here are some of the things that are making me happy today (in no particular order):

  1. Captain Cavedweller. He makes me ridiculously happy most days.  Even when he’s not at home, all I have to do is think of something he said or did and it lightens my heart.
  2. Writing. I feel so, so blessed to get up every day and have the opportunity to do something I love so much. Writing is a precious gift, one I enjoy beyond words. Being able to share the stories and characters that flit through my thoughts and whisper in my ear with my readers gives me incredible measures of joy.
  3. Creature comforts. Our power was out over the weekend and it made me so aware of how much I take for granted, especially in the winter months. Having a warm, safe, comfortable home with running water and electricity, along with plenty of hot, filling, nourishing food is a blessings I don’t want to take for granted.  Creature comforts are full of happiness!
  4. Sunshine. The long, gray, dreary days of winter make me so grateful for those days (or hours) when the sun shines brightly overhead. Sunshine carries little beams of happiness.
  5. Chocolate. Maybe it shouldn’t, but even one little piece of really good chocolate can make me so happy.
  6.  My readers. Without them, writing wouldn’t be nearly as much fun and I wouldn’t be able to write full time. My readers bring me such joy and opportunities to connect with them are happy moments I treasure.
  7. Music. I love a variety of music, but listening to my favorite songs always put a smile on my face (and sometimes gets my toes to tapping).

What’s one thing that makes you happy today?  Whatever it is, I hope you have an abundance of it in the new year!

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Wow! It doesn’t seem possible that today is my last post my weekly joy lessons for 2017. This year – it flew by so quickly.

Throughout the whole year, I’ve had this quote posted on my fridge:

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I love this verse for so very many reasons, but one that I focused on a lot during the past twelve months, is this: fear not. When I let go of my fears, I find my joy.

Which brings me to another favorite “joy” quote:

today-i-choose-joy-hand-painted-sign-1

Each and every day, I can choose joy. When I do, it keeps me from falling into the mire of doubt, worry, anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, etc.  Do I always choose joy? Sadly, no. But I’m a work in progress with plenty of room for improvement. But I did discover myself seeking to choose joy more frequently as the year progressed with these joy lessons.

Joy is such an incredible thing. And the best part is that we can choose it at any moment. Even if our day has gotten off to a bad start, even when things aren’t going our way – we can still choose joy. And the more we choose it, the deeper and richer that well of joy that resides in our hearts.

My wish for you all in 2018 is that you will joy will fill your hearts and lives to overflowing.

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Saving Mistletoe 1.jpg

Saving Mistletoe was such a fun story to write. An attorney who could use a little Ebeneezer intervention, a cowboy cop with a stubborn streak a mile wide, and a child in desperate need of a Christmas miracle.

We first met Ellen Meade in Taste of Tara. She and Tara have been best friends forever. In that story, we knew Ellen was an attorney with a bright future ahead of her. But we didn’t really know what Ellen looked like.

Ellen (Zoey Deutch)

The beautiful Zoey Deutch is just so, so perfect for Ellen.

ellen 2

Absolutely perfect for Ellen who is truly a sweet, giving person (and so lovely!).

Our hero in the story is Burke Tipton, a cowboy police officer who works with the Mounted Police Unit in downtown Portland, Oregon.  I knew I wanted Burke to have dark hair, but beyond that, I was open to ideas.

Then I saw a photo of Lucas Black.

burke 2

And I knew I’d found my Burke! He’s just ideal for the somewhat cynical (yet softhearted) cop who can also be mighty stubborn.

Burke (Lucas Black)

But he is such a cutie! And so perfect for Ellen!

Mistletoe girl

In the story, Burke ends up with a homeless little girl named Mistletoe on his hands. This sweetie-pie was just how I envisioned the “star of the show.”

Mistletoe girl 2

And this face… made me smile every time I looked at it!

Sugar Bear

Burke’s partner in the story is a horse named Sugar Bear. Bear is part of the police force and adds a fun element to the book.

Lovey

As does Lovey the dog! (She is so gorgeous!)

You can find more of my visual inspiration for the story on Pinterest.

And while you browse through the photos, listen to Chris Young croon Under the Weather. It’s the song I listened to while I wrote this story.

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Joy Lessons Week 51

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The above quote is so true and today it seems even more so. Today, Captain Cavedweller and I are celebrating 24 years of marriage.

On a bitterly cold December day, I opened the door to greet a blind date arranged by (of all people)my dad. Little did I know as I swung open the portal that I’d look up into a pair of amazing blue eyes and lose my heart in that instant.

But I did.

From that moment on, my heart belonged to Captain Cavedweller. And a year later, we wed.

It seems like just yesterday we rushed outside the church, eager to begin our life together instead of almost a quarter of a century ago. Time really does fly when you are having fun.

This morning, I’ve been reflecting on how much happiness my wonderful husband has brought into my life over the years. How much joy I’ve known by loving him and being loved by him.

The well of joy bubbling up in my heart seems full to overflowing. And I wish for you all the joy of loving and being loved – whether it’s from a significant other, a family member, or a friend. May love fill your heart with joy today and every day to come.

our wedding 1

And to Captain Cavedweller – thank you for loving me so long and so well, and giving me so many years full of laughter, joy, and love! Happy Anniversary! ❤

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Saving Mistletoe 1.jpg

Saving Mistletoe is now available in both digital and paperback formats.

Saving Mistletoe - Shanna Hatfield

Will love be enough to bring

A miracle for Christmas?

Hotshot attorney Ellen Meade seems to have it all: a powerful position with her firm, a posh downtown apartment, and a bright future ahead of her. But for Ellen, the future grows dimmer with each passing day. Her apartment is lonely without her best friend, and the demands of her job are slowly killing her soul. She’s simply surviving until she bumps into a police officer who changes everything.

Burke Tipton loves his job as a Mounted Patrol Officer in downtown Portland.  The life he’s built away from his family’s ranch is simple and uncomplicated. At least it was until a beautiful woman bumps into him and turns his world upside down.

Add in Burke’s partner Sugar Bear, Lovey the dog, and a child named Mistletoe in need of a Christmas miracle, and you get a heartwarming, holiday romance from USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield.

Available now on Amazon.

Excerpt:

Slowly opening her eyes, she glanced up at the scowling, tanned face of a police officer as he sat astride his large chestnut mount. The horse shook his mane and glanced back at her, as though he measured her worth and found her severely lacking.

She pushed against the man’s muscled thigh to regain her balance and took a step back. The contact with his leg left her further unsettled than she’d been mere seconds before.

Who had muscles like that, anyway? His thigh felt like it was made of steel. What was the guy, a fitness nut? The short sleeves of his uniform shirt only accented his biceps and broad shoulders.

A brief perusal that started at the top of his hat and ended at the toes of his shiny leather riding boots confirmed that the man was, indeed, in prime physical shape.

His gaze held a hint of scorn as he continued to stare at her with a disapproving frown.

“May I help you, miss?” he asked in a smooth voice that held the hint of a drawl. He didn’t sound Southern, exactly, but he wasn’t from Portland, that was for sure. The man had a rugged, outdoorsy look to him. His seat on the back of the tall horse only accentuated the persona.

“No, thank you,” she said. Another step back nearly carried her into two businessmen walking past her. One of them gave her a cool glare while the other shot her an interested glance.

“Are you sure, miss? You seem to be a little lost.” The officer’s expression didn’t soften as he held her gaze with eyes that were a surprisingly clear shade of blue. In spite of his gruffness, Ellen couldn’t help but notice the sculpted firmness of his lips, particularly the top one.

Unbidden, thoughts of kissing it flew into her head…

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